02/17/2017  |  We All Scream for Beer-Infused Ice Cream!

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There’s a lot to hoot and holler about thanks to our partnership with the University of Delaware. Think hand-churned ice creams created with Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant’s popular craft beer. It’s a win-win for the taste buds, but this partnership is about more than those yummy scoops.

“We’re thrilled to expand our partnership with the University of Delaware, and look forward to hosting its bright, inquisitive students as part of an undergraduate internship program,” said Iron Hill Co-Founder Kevin Davies. “We’re also excited and proud to offer our guests premium, from-scratch ice creams in a way that provides support to one of the nation’s most exceptional universities.”

You read that correctly: Students in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) will have the chance to do six-month undergraduate brewing internships at Iron Hill that will focus on the science of brewing. Our history of partnering with the University of Delaware dates back to 1996, when we opened our first brewery and restaurant in the heart of its Newark, Del., campus. We were delighted to host CANR students in our new brewpub who were taking the “Fermentations: Brewing and Beyond” class. We still collaborate with the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics as an internship location for beer school master’s degree students. This newest effort extends brewing internships to undergrads.

The sweet news for our guests is that UDairy Creamery will exclusively provide our 12 locations ice cream flavors such as vanilla, chocolate chip cookie dough and malted bourbon pecan, plus chocolate stout produced using our award-winning Russian Imperial Stout. It’s the UDairy Creamery’s first wholesale partnership, and we’re more than happy to be chosen. More great news: UDairy Creamery is a nonprofit, funneling its proceeds into expanding operations and the university’s dairy-farm research efforts.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to give UD students an easy access point to a brewing internship, and that this partnership has the potential to get more students interested in food science,” said Melinda Shaw, UDairy Creamery manager. “I think—especially with food science and fermentation, and what we’re doing with our new dairy plant and the other courses—that it’s something that every food science program should offer.”

Keep an eye on our websiteFacebookTwitter and Instagram accounts to stay up to date on this program and other exciting Iron Hill news.

With 12 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Nina Malone

UDairy Creamery video by Paul Puglisi; photos by Steve Legato

01/31/2017  |  Score Big This Sunday with Iron Hill Growlers

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The big game is coming, but you don’t have to be a fan of either team to win. You’ll be the MVP of any party when you bring a growler (or, more!) of Iron Hill beer.

Nail kick off with our Big Game Growler Grab happening now through Sunday, Feb. 5. Fill two 64 oz growlers with your favorites from our tap list and score a free pint glass. Better still: Grab four growlers and elevate your party with a custom flight tasting right from the comfort of your couch.

Nothing pairs better with our beer than takeout from our fresh food menu (click on the location nearest you). It’s a party to go when you stop by any one of our 12 Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant locations and catch belly-filling wings, pizzas, nachos, burgers or something vegetarian-friendly to go.

Round out the rest of your party game plan with our inclusive guide, Growler 101 with Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant. Check our pro tips about how long beer stays fresh in a growler, which beers you can choose to put in growlers, how to maintain that precious vessel and more straight from the experts.

Wondering how to get your growler safely to the end zone … er … its final destination? Keep your head in the game with another Growler 101: Tips for Transporting Your Growlers Home Safely.

Last, but most certainly not least: We hate to brag (so indulge us), but our trophy case is filled with awards thanks to our brewers’ creativity, skills and love for great beer. Might that mojo rub off on your favorite team this Sunday? We’re hedging our bets and huddling up with growlers full of Iron Hill beer.

With 12 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Nina Malone

Photos: Steve Legato

 

01/23/2017  |  Brewers Dish on Iron Hill’s Belgium Comes to West Chester on January 28

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Beer lovers know January is the real “most wonderful time of the year” because that’s when Belgium Comes to West Chester (BCWC) brings one of our favorite beer styles—and lots of our brewer friends—to Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant.

Circle Saturday, January 28, from 1-6 p.m., on your calendar and plan to be at our West Chester location, where 32 (and counting!) Belgian-style beers will be there for the tasting. According to West Chester Head Brewer Tim Stumpf, Belgian beer can be “almost anything and brewed any way the brewer chooses.” This tickles thirsty beer drinkers’ palates, thanks to spontaneous fermentation or barrel-aging, unique ingredients and so much more.

“I’ve had dandelion and mustard seed beer,” Tim said. “A lot of American brewing traditions are steeped in German beer styles, which have historically been very strict and specific. There’s a place for this, and it has its merits, but it can be limiting. For those who celebrate distinct and interesting flavors that satisfy, Belgian beers will not disappoint!”

Let’s take a moment to give a nod to BCWC’s creator, Iron Hill Chestnut Hill Head Brewer Chris LaPierre. He launched what has become an annual pilgrimage in 2007, based on his love for Belgian beers’ range of flavors and complexity. Tim said he carries on this tradition because “those who love beer tend to love more flavorful beer, and Belgian beer is the apex of satisfying flavor.”

It’s not just beer drinkers who flock to West Chester every January—our brewer friends can’t wait to bring their best to this annual fest. Belgian-style beers flow in from around the East Coast.

“This is one of the few times where we can all get together to share some beers,” Tim added. “My favorite part of BCWC is partying with the brewers and our friendly competition! This industry is like no other. Can you imagine if Apple called Microsoft and asked to borrow some technology? In the beer world, there’s tons of collaboration. Seven of the brewers coming to BCWC worked here, and I have been helped by almost everyone else. Brian O’Reilly from Sly Fox recently helped me with a cleaning chemical issue, Tim Roberts from Yards lives down the street from me and helped me move furniture, Tom Baker from Brewery Techne was our special guest at one of our first events, Mike Philbrick from Port Jeff brewed with me in Phoenixville before starting his own brewery, and this list can go on. I love these people very much.”

The love runs both ways, as evidenced by the feedback we’ve received:

Evan Fritz, Head Brewer, Manayunk Brewing Company

“The best component of this event is to see old friends and other local brewers. With so many uninteresting beer events and festivals these days, I enjoy how well Iron Hill puts together a fun day of amazing beers. We’ll be bringing Cuvée de Yunk, our Belgian-style sour ale fermented with ripe apricots. We chose this beer because it is delicious and refreshing, while complex and exciting. I’m thrilled to get the chance to try the St. Ben Dubbel and the Iron Hill Tawny Port Barrel-Aged Brett Old Ale.”

Andrew “Ruby” Rubenstein, Head Cellarman, 2SP Brewing Company

“This will be the second time 2SP Brewing has participated in BCWC. We’re sending Best Wishes, a 9.5% ABV dry-hopped saison. I always look forward to this event because it’s such a great group of people all in one room. Iron Hill always brings its best beers, and it’s fun to see the creativity and diversity of its brewers all on one list.”

Tim Patton, Proprietor, Saint Benjamin Brewing Company

“This is our first year. I’d heard of it before but was waiting until we were sending more beer into Chester County. Now that we’re doing that, it seemed like a great time to participate. We’re sending Franklin’s Abbey Dubbel—it’s one of my favorite Belgian styles. We’ve been to other Iron Hill events, so we know it’s going to be well organized and filled with attendees who are really into trying new beer.”

As for our own Tim, can’t wait to sip Denizens’ Oud Boy. “Jeff Ramirez, Head Brewer at Denizens, was once an Iron Hill brewer, and I know he is very creative. I can’t wait to try his beer. It’s a tough choice, though; I’ve never had most of these beers, and can’t wait to try them all! The Dogfish Head and Allagash beers sound very unique, and they are two breweries I really respect.”

Drink in the goodness from some of our favorite breweries (including other Iron Hill locations, of course!):

  • Big Oyster Brewery – Arya
  • Port Jeff Brewing Company – H3 Tripel
  • Sly Fox Brewing Company – Valor
  • Saint Benjamin Brewing Company – Belgian Dubbel
  • Stewart’s Brewing Company – Stumblin’ Monk
  • Brewery Techne – Bone View
  • Troegs Independent Brewing – Mad Elf
  • Denizens Brewing Company – Oud Boy
  • Vault Brewing Company – Belgian Blonde
  • Weyerbacher Brewing Company – Berry Monks
  • Yards Brewing Company – Trubbel de Yards
  • Manayunk Brewing Company – Cuvee de Yunk
  • Dock Street Brewing Company – Barrel Aged Bubbly Wit
  • Dogfish Head Craft Brewery – Siracusa Nera
  • Stickman Brews – Beer from a Farm
  • 2SP Brewing Company – Super Saison
  • 3rd Wave Brewing Company – Jessop’s Brambleberry
  • Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery – C’est la Vie
  • Allagash Brewing Company – James Bean
  • Victory Brewing Company – Sour Monkey
  • Iron Hill Newark – Fe20
  • Iron Hill Media – Sucker Punch
  • Iron Hill North Wales – Barrel Cherry Dubbel
  • Iron Hill North Wales – Blame the Dog
  • Iron Hill Huntingdon Valley – Akuma
  • Iron Hill Phoenixville – Honey Saison
  • Iron Hill Wilmington – Millennium Falcon
  • Iron Hill Chestnut Hill – Double Witbier
  • Iron Hill West Chester – Kabouter
  • Iron Hill Media – Funkadelphia
  • Iron Hill Media – Tawny Port Barrel-Aged Brett Old Ale
  • Iron Hill Maple Shade – The Cannibal™

Last, but certainly not least, here are Tim’s top tips for making the most of BCWC:

  • Come as early as possible.
  • Be responsible and plan for your transportation. If snagging a DD is an issue, make a reservation with Restaurant Valet: (877) 721-6155. Or you can take a page from the playbook of our Philly-area friends, who rent a bus to port them to and fro. Nice!
  • Take advantage of convenient parking. If you’re in charge of driving, you can check out the convenient and inexpensive parking practically across the street from Iron Hill in the Chestnut Street Garage. Lot full of revelers? Hit the Bicentennial Parking Garage a few blocks away on High Street. Bonus: We’ll provide two hours of parking validation!
  • Plan to eat something—throughout the day. Your best bet for grabbing a table at Iron Hill and noshing on our regular menu plus the day’s Belgium-inspired fare (see that below!) is to make a reservation well ahead of time. Use OpenTable or call us at (610) 738-9600.
  • Sip on a sampler! It’s the best way to try a variety of beers. Samplers are eight 4-ounce beers for $20. The pro move: Each friend gets a different one to share.
  • Attention King of the Hill Rewards Club members: You, our most loyal customers, may enter BCWC at noon.

One last tip: make sure your phone is charged so you can blow up your social media with the hashtag #BCWC2017. We can’t wait to welcome you to #BCWC2017!

With 12 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Nina Malone

 

12/28/2016  |  Homegrown Musician: Head Brewer Chris Endrikat

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There’s a pattern with Chris Endrikat, our North Wales head brewer: Give what Dad and big brother are doing a try, and then make a career of it. That’s how he got into music and home-brewing, and ended up touring the world and turning out Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant beer.

“My dad was a jazz trumpet player, so there were always instruments around the house,” Chris noted. “My brother is two years older and got a guitar when he was 10; that’s when I got into the drums.”

Like most kids interested in music, Chris joined his elementary school band and was rewarded for his efforts with a drum set in fifth grade. Lessons continued through middle school, but by then he and his brother were finding their sound in bands—something they do to this day.

“We’ve been in five bands together,” he added. “We’re in two right now. I play the drums in one, and guitar in the other. Luckily, I have a brother who was nice enough to teach me the guitar as a kid.”

Brewing also runs in the family. His love for beer started at home as a kid, scrubbing bottles and observing his father, brother and cousin home-brew. He stumbled across Keystone Homebrew Supply, and the rest is delicious history.

“It’s amazing how many people got their start there who are now working at breweries, including Iron Hill,” Chris explained. “I really got into it when my brother and I were the best men in our friend Andrew Howard’s wedding. We got him a home-brew kit—and he went nuts with it. We brewed with him all the time. He’s now at Yards Brewing Company.”

Chris honed his brewing skills much the same way he did his musical chops—one step at a time, with hard work. He started serving at Iron Hill’s North Wales location, and the second he turned 21 he began volunteering in the brewery. He did that for several months, then was hired as an assistant. He had the opportunity to be the lead brewer in West Chester and jumped at the chance to further refine his talents and his creativity. A little over one year later, he was promoted to North Wales’ head brewer.

“One of the nice things about Iron Hill is we have the opportunity to brew traditional styles, but are free to try new and experimental beers, too,” he said.

That tracks with his musical tastes, which, like our beers on tap, change frequently. You might catch punk, reggae, ska, soul or Motown on his playlist—this week. He calls his first concert in 2003—Dropkick Murphys, an American Celtic punk hailing from Massachusetts he saw at a small club in Lancaster—a defining moment.

“The punk scene is global, but a really tight community,” Chris explained. “We were fortunate enough to grow up in a great scene in Philly. The hospitality we’ve been shown all over the world is incredible. We try to reciprocate that hospitality as often as possible, whether it’s throwing a barbecue or just letting a touring band crash with us. Very few bands actually break even on tours, so any time bands can help each other out is great.”

That’s just the start of what Chris loves about music. He’s completely into all aspects: writing, recording and touring. His bands have worked with U.S., Dutch, Czech and German record labels, which keeps them busy around our country but also opened up European tours.

“We’re extremely grateful that we get to travel to new places, whether it be the U.S., Canada or now Europe,” he said. “It’s a great way for me to see what other brewers are doing all over. We were in a craft beer bar in Barcelona, where the tap list looked very similar to a bar in the States—filled with IPAs and saisons. We also got to visit Brauerei Weihenstephan, the oldest brewery in the world, just north of Munich. It was amazing drinking a pilsner in Germany because it’s the benchmark for the style. We brew a lot of German styles at Iron Hill, so that was pretty humbling.”

How does Chris manage to be a brewer by day and musician by night? He says Iron Hill is incredibly supportive. He takes both roles seriously—whether it’s washing kegs or recording a record. He’s also well aware he’s gotten to learn brewing from some of the most award-winning brewers in the industry.

“I get to learn the brewing standards from the incredibly talented guys who came before me, and that’s something I totally appreciate and never forget,” he added.

With 12 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Nina Malone

Photos, top to bottom: Christine Caton, Noisy Little Critter, © Brewers Association

12/05/2016  |  From Homebrewer to Head Brewer (Plus Free Advice!): Moriah Guise

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If Newark Head Brewer Moriah Guise has heard it once, she’s heard it a thousand times: “How do I get your job?”

“I don’t mind hearing that at all,” she said, laughing. “That’s a common question among homebrewers. They have this awesome hobby and they want to make money with it. Since most of us at Iron Hill started as homebrewers, it’s a great question.”

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant’s storied history started with two friends who just happened to be award-winning homebrewers, Kevin Finn and Mark Edelson. It’s no surprise, then, that many homebrewers have worked their way into our ranks.

“If you’re a homebrewer, your choices are to work for an established brewery or start your own,” Moriah added. “Unless you’ve got great funding, aiming for an established brewery is the way to go. Just be prepared to work your way up; it’s hard work, but it’s worth it.”

At Iron Hill, most of our brewery staff started in another role. We love to promote from within! Many started as servers, dishwashers and other restaurant-side employees.

“We do have a few brewers who came from other breweries, but we’ve got a solid history of spying talent at Iron Hill,” Moriah said. “I started as a server in Wilmington in 2011, and fell in love with the company. I volunteered for events, helped bottle and can, and got to know everyone. I like to say I was persistent, but just on this side of being annoying! When the opportunity opened up I was able to transition to the brewery department.”

Moriah has been homebrewing for about a decade, starting when she was living in Nashville. The microbrewery scene wasn’t as robust back then, but she sought out brewers and picked their brains.

“I started hanging out in this crazy shop that was part gardening store, part homebrewing supplies,” she explained. “That’s how I started this hobby. I became a borderline science nerd by making beer I really liked. Plus, it was pretty cool to be able to give a mixed six at Christmas that I made myself.”

Once she got into our brewery, Moriah quickly became the Wilmington assistant brewer. In April 2015 she went to the Voorhees location as lead brewer, which she calls “head brewer in training.” She sharpened her management side, and earned the Newark head brewer job in November 2015.

Any Iron Hill employee eyeing a spot on the brewery has the opportunity to brew for a day. Moriah highly recommends it, as brewing isn’t all “sunshine and rainbows; there’s some grunt work that comes with it. We brewers always joke: chefs have dishwashers; we have ourselves. Those who come out for a brew day can see if they can deal with the ‘glamour’ and the grunt.”

Moriah is still active with First State Brewers, and still homebrews. She fields a lot of questions there—and at Iron Hill. Guests come in with recipes, samples and even bottles of their finished products to ask for honest feedback.

“It’s one of the really nice things about Iron Hill specifically—we’re encouraged to stay accessible to our guests,” she added. “They’ll ask us to try a beer because they feel something’s missing, recommend hops to balance a beer or just brainstorm about a style. I love that part of being an Iron Hill brewer.”

Are you a homebrewer? Thinking about it? Want the inside skinny? Stop by your local Iron Hill and see who’s in, plus check out some on-point advice, courtesy of Moriah:

Join a club.

Homebrewers clubs are “super awesome groups of people seriously interested in the hobby, from newbies to seasoned homebrewers,” Moriah said. It’s a relaxed environment to talk about recipes, hear guest speakers and get a handle on it all before you invest.

You don’t have to go to school to become a brewer.

Moriah notes that there are amazing schools that delve into brewing and fermentation science, but that the school of hard knocks also works. “Iron Hill encourages us to get continuing education, so I’m currently enrolled with the American Brewers Guild for a certification,” she said.

It’s not hard to be female in a (currently) male-dominated industry.

“Brewers are the most welcoming group of people,” Moriah explained. “Everyone is there with the same idea: to brew great beer. All walks of life—different ages, male, female, whatever—we’re all in it for the same reason.” When she does want to get in touch with her sister brewers, she takes advantage of her Pink Boots Society membership. The organization assists, inspires and encourages women beer professionals through education.

You probably won’t save money as a homebrewer—but it’s worth it.

Moriah wants you to know: you’re going to dump some beer on your homebrewing journey. And, it hurts. “It happens! You won’t be perfect coming out of the gate. We’ve all spent an entire Saturday brewing, then weeks carefully checking on our homebrew, only to find it’s bad and needs to be dumped. Stick with it! Write down everything you do, because something totally random could make or break your next batch. It’s all worth it when you take something you hand-crafted, give it to someone and say, ‘I made this.’”

With 12 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Nina Malone

Photos: Sophia DiPersio of Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

11/17/2016  |  A Fitting Tribute: Last Alarm IPA Honors Fallen Firefighters

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It took about a minute for Wilmington Head Brewer Justin Sproul to say “yes” when presented with the idea to brew a special beer to honor two local firefighters lost in the line of duty.

Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant server Sam Cannon is a volunteer firefighter who—like many—was deeply touched by the deaths of Lt. Christopher Leach, 41, and Senior Firefighter Jerry Fickes, 51. She suggested we go beyond the Give 20 and bring in Wilmington Fire Department Local 1590 firefighters to craft a tribute beer.

“Sam’s idea made us really proud,” Justin said. “It felt really good to give back. It reminded us that we don’t need a tragedy to do something like this; we want to continue the relationship with our Wilmington firefighters and hope to make it an annual event.”

All Iron Hill locations host Give 20 events—fun and delicious ways for nonprofits to raise money by bringing together their friends and families to dine with us and enjoy 20 percent of the evening’s take. The Last Alarm IPA project went a step further: not only did 20 percent of the proceeds go to WFD Local 1590, but an additional $1 for every pint and mug of Last Alarm also was donated, right until the very last drop.

Last Alarm IPA brew day was a crisp fall day that brought together Justin and his brewing crew with five firefighters. They hung out, sampled some beers and—of course—took part in Last Alarm IPA’s creation. Justin was also moved by the firefighters’ telling stories and reminiscing about their fallen friends.

Fellow firefighter John Cawthray—who was injured in that fateful fire—pulled the first pour of First Alarm IPA at a special event held at our Wilmington brewpub. It was an emotional moment for all, with thoughts going to Chris, Jerry and their families, and also to the two firefighters still hospitalized with injuries from the blaze. There was a moment of silence, a toast and then many more pours.

“We chose an IPA because it’s a great beer, but also because we could make it rather quickly to honor those guys,” Justin added. “An IPA also allowed us to make a nice, balanced beer to appeal to craft beer drinkers, yet not intimidate noncraft beer drinkers. Last Alarm IPA has some nice citrusy and piney hop notes and a subtle malt profile, so there’s not an aggressive bitterness. The guys from 1590 agreed!”

Our chefs and kitchen staff got on board right away and created signature food for a special day: Smoked Beef Brisket Chili with roasted tomato, cumin, red onion, jalapeño and optional “3-alarm sauce” plus Fire House Wings served with celery and carrot sticks and a spicy Szechuan chili sauce, with sweet plum-ginger sauce for dipping—both perfect with a refreshing IPA.

“This is the kind of thing that makes Iron Hill unique,” Justin added. “We’re part of our community and stand by our community. We’re so proud to have raised money to support Chris’ and Jerry’s families. If you missed it, you can still help: there’s a GoFundMe page, too.”

With 12 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Nina Malone

Photos: Sophia DiPersio of Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant

10/28/2016  |  Seasonal Favorite Recipe: Iron Hill Chorizo and Pumpkin Chili

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There’s something soul-warming about eating chili in the fall. Picture crisp weather, snuggling into your favorite sweatshirt, seeing your breath in the air and feeling your belly full of hearty chili—chased with an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant Pumpkin Ale, of course.

Our medium-bodied copper ale is malty-sweet with balancing bitterness. We spice it with traditional pumpkin pie spices and vanilla instead of finishing hops, making it a smooth sipping beer that pairs perfectly with rustic comfort foods like Chorizo and Pumpkin Chili.

We asked assistant director of culinary operations Dan Bethard to rustle up a special recipe for you, our hungry (and, thirsty!) fans, and he pulled out all the stops using our seasonal Pumpkin Ale. You’ll be in high demand at tailgates, potlucks, football-watching parties and other seasonal socials when you’re toting along a big batch of this just-right-spiced chili.

“This recipe uses beef and sausage for a good flavor balance,” Dan explains. “There’s a slight contrast in texture, too, which makes beef and pork play well together. We’ve been making this on and off for years, and it only gets better with our Pumpkin Ale.”

Another secret: Iron Hill Chorizo and Pumpkin Chili features long-neck pumpkins, often called crookneck squash. They’re local and available this time of year and bring the ideal texture and flavors when diced and added near the end of the cooking process.

Ready to cook like an Iron Hill chef? Before you start, take note of Dan’s top three tips for nailing this chili recipe:

1. Let it cook long enough.

This means allowing the time for the meat’s fibers to cook out. If they appear tough and stringy, they’re not done. Be patient. Let it simmer and give the protein a chance to soften up (and soak in flavors, too).

2. Use your taste buds to determine when it’s done.

Sure, you have to set a timer now and again, but the best way to know if it’s really, really done is to check it and taste it. Simmering is where the love comes in because it infuses the chili with layers of flavors. You add the extra love when you taste and adjust the seasonings.

3. Don’t skip the red wine vinegar.

The recipe calls for red wine vinegar near the end; it’s the same as adding lemon juice at the end of a seafood chowder recipe. The vinegar’s acid brings out bright flavors and a fresh taste, The tomato acid isn’t enough in this big chili—add the vinegar and savor the difference.

Bonus tip: Grab a Pumpkin Ale growler or 4-pack from your favorite Iron Hill so you have plenty of beer to accompany your chili. Cheers!

 

Iron Hill Chorizo and Pumpkin Chili



Makes 2 gallons

Ingredients

  • 2.5 lbs. ground beef
  • 5 lbs. chorizo
  • 4 cups raw pinto beans
  • 2 tbsp. dark chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. ancho chile powder
  • 2 oz pureed chipotles in adobo
  • 1.5 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. oregano
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp. cooking oil
  • 6 cups Spanish onions, medium diced
  • 6 cups green bell pepper, medium diced
  • 2 tbsp. minced jalapeños
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 cup Iron Hill Pumpkin Ale
  • 1 gallon beef broth
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups long neck pumpkins, medium diced
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

Directions

  1. In two medium-sized rondos or other appropriate pans, cook ground beef in one pan and chorizo in the other, chopping with a spoon and then a potato masher to break up. Drain each into a colander and set aside.
  2. In a pot, submerge pinto beans in water. Bring to a boil, then simmer pinto beans until done (soft to the bite). Drain and set aside.
  3. Puree the chipotle peppers. Add to medium stainless steel or other nonreactive bowl and mix in dark chili powder, ancho chile powder, black pepper, cumin, oregano and sugar. Set aside.
  4. In a pot, sweat the onions, peppers, jalapeños and garlic in oil for about 8-10 minutes until they become soft.
  5. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste and beer. Cook until the beer is reduced by half its volume
  6. Add beef broth, spice mixture and salt and cook for 20 minutes. Stir often.
  7. Add meats and cook for 90 minutes longer. Stir often.
  8. Finish by adding the cooked beans, diced pumpkin and vinegar. Cook for 15 minutes or until the pumpkin becomes tender; check the seasoning and add more if needed.

With 12 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Nina Malone

Pumpkin ale photo, credit Steve Legato; remaining photos credited to Sophia DiPersio

09/22/2016  |  Inspiring Loyalty: The GABF Staff Party

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For the past 20 years, Iron Hill has attended the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver, Colorado—a prestigious beer festival and competition that boasts “the largest collection of U.S. beer ever served.” Each year we send a handful of our employees to the festival to immerse them in the craft brew culture. For those fortunate enough to attend, the three day-long event is a whirlwind of tastings, brewery tours, company outings and more. To put it simply—the entire trip is a damn good time!

Unfortunately, not every employee gets to make the coveted trip to Denver. (Someone’s gotta stay here and serve you the tasty stuff!) So, to include everyone in the GABF spirit, we began hosting a companywide GABF Staff Party. In its 20th year, the 2016 party featured a casino setup, DJ and dance floor, photo booths, a buffet, Iron Hill beer, and a major highlight of the night—a donut wall! You read that right… a donut wall. A wall. Made of donuts. It was as amazing as it sounds.

Nearly 600 people attended the festivities, giving employees from all locations and positions a chance to meet and mingle. For Tim Stumpf, Head Brewer in West Chester, this is the best part of the event.

“My favorite part of the GABF party is definitely seeing all of my old friends who I have worked with over the years. I’ve been with Iron Hill since 1998, and worked for extended periods in the first 6 Iron Hill locations, so it’s really great to see how far all of my friends have come. Some are department heads now, others are starting families, it’s really great to have a chance to catch up and reminisce about old times.”

The evening is filled with dancing, laughter and a sense of camaraderie most companies only dream about. That camaraderie is a result of Iron Hill’s core values and something we strive for on a daily basis—to inspire loyalty, not just from our guests, but within the company as well.

To make the party possible, each Iron Hill location shuts its doors a few hours early to allow every employee the opportunity to attend. According to Shannon Mahoney, a manager at our Huntingdon Valley location, this speaks volumes about our culture.

“I don’t know many restaurants/companies that are willing to close down all of their locations so that their staff can have a night off and enjoy themselves with one another. It’s a huge ‘thank you’ to all of the employees and I think it continues to build the positive culture that Iron Hill strives and thrives on!”

As Lorraine Serva, Director of Human Resources, sees it, hosting this event each year really highlights the importance of the “People” aspect of our three core values—People, Product, Profit.

“We have a major party where we invite 1000+ employees. We rent a DJ, casino night, photographer, photo booths, this year a donut wall, and we have a full buffet. We even order busses to take away the worry of figuring out transportation. It’s quite an undertaking and the fact that we lose revenue by closing all locations for the night is secondary to creating a memorable evening to celebrate our employees and all that they do. If we were only concerned about profit, we’d never be able to have this lavish ‘Iron Hill Prom.’”

In addition to all the fun stuff we rent for the evening, we also use the party to hand out a few awards. (This party just keeps getting better, huh?) First of the night is the Brewie, awarded this year to the Phoenixville team. The Brewie recognizes the location that leads the year in categories like sales, safety, customer surveys and more.

Up next—awarding one person from each location a trip to GABF! That’s right, an employee from every restaurant wins a trip to Denver on the Iron Hill tab. Pretty cool, huh? Everyone 21+ is eligible and entries are gained on a points based system, with points being given for things like hours worked, years of service, brewing for a day, bottling, safety committee and more.

For Regional Brewer Kevin Walter, being present when the winners of the Brewie and GABF trips are announced is a major highlight of the evening.

“My favorite part of the GABF party is seeing the reactions from the staff when Mark Edelson, Kevin Finn and Kevin Davies give out the awards. It’s awesome to see how excited they are.”

Once the awards are said and done, the rest of the night is dedicated to drinking beer, dancing and battling it out over Blackjack at the casino tables. (Oh, and donuts. Can’t forget that donut wall!)  As Co-Founder and Director of Brewery Operations Mark Edelson notes, this event gives people who work on typical off-times like nights, weekends and holidays a chance to get together and let loose.

“In the hospitality business, we work when everyone else plays, so it is nice to set some time aside, shut down the restaurants and gather. I think it is great that we can all get together in one place. It is an opportunity for us to give back and throw a big party for staff and celebrate their   hard work.”

For Kevin Finn, Co-Founder and President, throwing the GABF Staff Party shows our dedication to inspiring loyalty year after year, and is a testament to the Iron Hill culture we’ve built since day one.

“It’s special because it is a tradition and we have stuck to it over the years. More importantly, I find it very fulfilling when so many employees come up and personally thank us for the party. Culturally, it reinforces how important our employees are to our success.”

 

With 11 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Content provided by Sophia DiPersio
Photos © Brian Penn

 

09/04/2016  |  5 Reasons Why We’re Not Your Average “Brewpub” Fare

Category: Uncategorized  |  Posted by: thetowndish  |  Add Comment

We’re darn proud of our 12 brewpubs, where our thirsty customers cozy up to the bar when they want a freshly made (and award-winning!) beer. But we’re just as proud of the carefully crafted food that comes from our kitchens—there’s a reason we’re called Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant.

The original idea behind our menu was to take fine dining offerings and transform them into a brewery/restaurant concept. Our talented chefs make everything from scratch and create signature menu items to complement our handcrafted beers. We also wanted to take traditional pub-style menu items such as burgers, wings and nachos and turn them on their heads—in some cases, we’ve morphed them into something unique to Iron Hill.

“That philosophy hasn’t changed that much over the years,” explained Assistant Director of Culinary Operations Dan Bethard. “Sure, we’ve developed a bigger range of offerings, but what makes us Iron Hill has remained the same. What’s been fun is we’ve been focusing more on how our beer and our food pair on our menu.”

Curious? Hungry? Take a stroll through the top reasons we’re not your average brewpub, and then stop by your favorite Iron Hill and taste what all the fuss is about.

1. We Infuse House Beers into the Menu.

Do you get a familiar taste when you dip into one of our sauces? That’s because we use some of our house beers in sauces, dressings, breads, batters and marinades. In the category of waste not, want not, we also use spent grain to make croutons. Keep an eye trained on our website, too; we’re developing new items using our signature beers!

2. We Use the Seasons for Inspiration.

Our chefs love creating daily features. Chefs at all 12 locations try what’s local and seasonal and bust out one-of-a-kind dishes for your eating pleasure. They also look to the brewery: we use seasonal beers to inspire some of those daily delights, our signature beer dinners and exclusive King of the Hill Rewards Club events.

3. We’re Serious About Housemade.

At Iron Hill, “handcrafted” refers to everything we do in the brewery—and also in the kitchen: from scratch and made fresh daily. Our discerning customers demand it, and there’s really no reason to do it any other way!

4. We Love to Think Outside the Box.

Back in the day, you didn’t see Cheesesteak Egg Rolls on a lot of restaurants’ menus. We changed all that when we introduced them—now not only are they one of our most popular items, but they’ve also popped up elsewhere. That’s cool: imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

5. Did We Mention Our Food Pairs Perfectly with Our Beer?

In case you missed it, we’re 100 percent committed to crafting our menus to highlight foods that pair really well with our award-winning beers. That’s why we keep the area’s best chefs in our kitchens!

Dan has a few menu items near and dear to his heart—and his stomach! His favorites are Cheesesteak Egg Rolls, Pan Seared Nantucket Sea Scallops, Chicken Fried Chicken, Moroccan Salmon, Grilled North Atlantic Salmon Salad, Hand Cut Carolina Sweet Potato Fries and Louisiana Chicken Gumbo. Have you tried?

Other great examples of not-your-average fare are our Fried Brussels Sprouts, Old Charleston Shrimp, Fried Goat Cheese, Jamaican Jerk Pork Porterhouse and Mesclun Salad. Imagine those with a cold, refreshing beer … wait! You don’t have to imagine it. You can simply pop into Iron Hill.

“We enjoy what we do each and every day, and that means great things for our guests,” Dan added. “Our food and beer’s freshness, quality and uniqueness—plus our fun and comfortable atmosphere and high level of service—make us the brewpub you want to visit.”

We can’t wait to see you soon!

With 12 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Nina Malone

Photos: Steve Legato

08/17/2016  |  Inside Scoop on Watching the Iron Hill Twilight Race Series

Category: Uncategorized  |  Posted by: thetowndish  |  Add Comment

News flash! This year, cycling fans will witness the USA CRITS championship series finals when the Iron Hill Twilight Race Series speeds through downtown West Chester on Saturday, August 20. Plan to be there, and check out our insider tips for getting the most out of your day.

“We couldn’t be more excited about hosting the championships for USA CRITS,” said Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce President Mark Yoder. “We usually see 100–110 men and 40–50 women, all high-caliber riders; we expect to see even more great racers this year.”

Race day is a family day, with tons of activities for kids of all ages. The streets of downtown West Chester close at noon, and the free Community Zones open at 3 p.m.:

  • Kid’s Zone—The Wells Fargo Bank parking lot on East Gay Street between The Classic Diner and Teca will be packed with family fun! You’ll find an inflatable obstacle course, kid-centric vendors, Hawaiian shaved ice and more. Winners of the West Chester Dental Arts Kids’ Race will cross the finish line there and grab their medals, too.
  • Benchmark Community Festival—There’s something for everyone on High Street between Gay and Market streets! Stop by this showcase for local businesses that provide support for the race. You’ll enjoy info and offerings from health and fitness providers, home improvement vendors, service providers, food & treats and so much more.
  • Market Street Block Party—Not to be outdone, the businesses on Market Street between Church and Darlington streets are throwing their annual shindig in honor of the race! This is another family-friendly good time featuring face painting, the chance to chalk up the street with your artistic prowess, live music and great food.

Now that you’ve had some fun it’s time to get set for the races. Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant President Kevin Finn is a race-day veteran because Iron Hill has been the title sponsor from the start, working closely with the Chamber, which mounts the day-long event. Here are his top race day tips:

  • Start the day by watching future pro cyclers at the West Chester Dental Arts Kids’ Race starting at 3:30 p.m. Kids ages 3–10 will pedal for glory and leave with a medal and goodie bag. The race ends at the Kid’s Zone, a perfect place to cool off with shaved ice.
  • Then, head over to the super-competitive Tolsdorf Twilight Trike Challenge for a 4:30 p.m. start. Teams of five adults furiously pedal tricycles with one goal in mind: to win VIP passes to the Crit Club for a delicious buffet, Iron Hill’s specially brewed Race Day Radler and—of course—bragging rights and the coveted trophy.
  • Stroll through the Benchmark Community Festival and the Market Street Block Party while waiting for the Rothman Institute Amateur Men’s Criterium that starts at 5:45 p.m. This race pits top local cyclists against the challenging downtown course. Start staking out your spot for breathtaking views of racers speeding by. Those in the know hit:
    • The Beer Garden on High Street right by the start/finish line. This is a great spot to enjoy a beer and get the full scoop on what’s going on during the race from the announcer stationed across the street.
    • The outdoor areas right outside Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant, also right by the start/finish line. Beer will be flowing there, too!
    • Turn one at Church and Gay streets, a “technical” corner and an interesting place to watch the race.
    • Turn three at Market and Matlack streets, another challenging corner sure to delight race enthusiasts.
  • Stay put for the Brumbaugh Wealth Management Pro Women’s Criterium Championship Series Final at 6:45 p.m. and be amazed by top women racers in this key USA Cycling race.
  • Hunker down for the Iron Hill Twilight Criterium Pro Men’s Championship Final at 8 p.m. The streets will explode with top national bike pros racing to the finish to claim the championship.

It’s a long, exciting day, so we recommend you come prepared to go the distance:

  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing to beat the heat.
  • Consider sneakers or walking shoes to help you navigate the crowds as you walk around West Chester.
  • Drink plenty of water and non-alcoholic beverages to stay hydrated.
  • Stop in to food vendors and restaurants to grab bites throughout the day.

“It’s been our pleasure and honor to be the title sponsor of this race,” Kevin added. “But we couldn’t do it without all the other sponsors and volunteers, and of course, Mark and the Chamber, who present this event.”

A few final thoughts from Mark: “We appreciate all our sponsors, but a special nod this year to Brumbaugh Wealth Management, which stepped up to make sure the women’s purse matched the men’s. For the first time at the Iron Hill Twilight Race Series—one of the few times in pro racing—the winners of both the men’s and the women’s finals will receive $10,000.”

“We’re also still looking for more trike teams; that race benefits Fame Fire Company No. 3,” he noted. “Last, but certainly not least, we are in need of many more volunteers.”

Don’t miss what’s shaping up to be a history-making event in downtown West Chester on August 20!

With 12 locations in Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, there’s an Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant near you. We specialize in handcrafted beers and fresh, from-scratch New American cuisine. Monthly releases vary by location, so scout out our beers on tap and visit us soon.

Nina Malone

Photos: Brian Penn Photography